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In the wild, big cat rely completely on themselves for survival. So does your little kitten. Her natural instinct is to act alone, and ignore what others want or demand from her.
In the wild, big cat rely completely on themselves for survival. So does your little kitten. Her natural instinct is to act alone and ignore what others want or demand from her.
For this reason, your kitten’s view of social structure and co-operation is very different from your own. If you want your kitten to learn, then you need to understand her motivations. While her independent spirit means you can’t train her like a dog, you can still teach her to respect certain areas of your house – and to understand that there are some things you don’t like her doing!
Pay attention to your kitten to see what gets her motivated. Perhaps it’s a tasty new treat. Perhaps it’s lots of affection and “lap-time”. Or perhaps it’s just a good old play session together. You can use whatever your kitten enjoys as a reward for the behaviour you want to encourage. But remember – cats get bored quickly, so varying her rewards will also help your kitten learn things more quickly.
Timing her rewards
A reward will only work if you give it as soon as your kitten is doing what you want her to do. Getting this timing right can be tricky, so you’ll need to be patient. As you probably know, you can’t manipulate your cute little kitten into doing anything she doesn’t want to do!
If you find your kitten on your kitchen worktop and you don't want her to be there, gently lift her down and walk away. Save your praise for when you find her on the ground. Another way to discourage unwanted behaviour is by distracting her – but remember to follow the distraction with a reward when she behaves in the way you want her to.
If you help your kitten learn these things early, she’ll soon become a happy, contented and well-mannered cat!